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    You can plant turfgrass in the fall – The Dallas Morning News - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    There seems to be some confusion about whether its too late in the season to plant turfgrass. Fear of freeze damage is the main concern.

    Well, if planting sod in the fall were a problem, the golf course superintendents and landscape contractors would be in real trouble since they plant and transplant solid sod year-round, including through the winter as long as the ground isnt frozen.

    So yes, planting solid sod can be done any time of the year, but fall is the very best time to plant warm-season grasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia, as well as cool-season grasses such as rye, fescue and bluegrass. It is too late in the season to plant Bermudagrass seed, and St. Augustine and Zoysia arent planted by seed.

    Now that we have that straight, lets talk about how to best do the planting.

    Remove existing grasses, weeds, debris and surface rocks. Rocks down in the soil are no problem and actually aid positive drainage. Till to a depth of 1 inch and rake into a smooth grade. Deep rotor-tilling is unnecessary and a waste of money unless the soil is heavily compacted.

    Adding a thin layer of compost 1/4 to 1/2 an inch thick is OK to do, but its really better to wait and apply the compost and other amendments (lava sand, Azomite and whole ground cornmeal) on top of the sod after planting. The addition of topsoil or sand isnt needed.

    Its a little late in October, but ryegrass seed can be planted as a winter over-seeding crop now. But I dont do it; its too much trouble. If you decide to, scalp the turf area and catch the clippings. After spreading the seed at about 3 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet, thoroughly soak the ground, then lightly water the seeded area at least twice a day. Fertilize with organic fertilizer sometime around the first mowing. Continue light watering until the grass has solidly covered.

    Spot sodding is not my favorite way to go because it is too slow to establish, but it can be done by planting 4-inch-by-4-inch (or larger) squares countersunk to be flush with the existing grade.

    For solid sod or spot sod planting, organic fertilizer should be applied immediately after planting at the rate of 10 to 15 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Solid sod blocks should be laid joint to joint after thoroughly wetting the top and bottom of each sod piece. After planting, the sod should be tamped down by using a roller full of water. This helps smooth out and level the sod. But more important, it removes air pockets that result in yellow spots. Small areas can be tamped by foot.

    Mow your new sod whenever it needs it.

    Read this article:
    You can plant turfgrass in the fall - The Dallas Morning News

    Plans to ‘grass over’ Muslim graves paused as some families ‘unaware and upset’ – Reading Chronicle - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Plans to grass over graves at a cemetery in Reading have been paused as some families were not aware of the maintenance works, the council has announced.

    Reading Borough Council (RBC) had planned to begin seeding work on the graves in Henley Road Cemetery so that they fit in with the other graves in this part of the cemetery.

    Some members of the Muslim community prefer earth graves, where they can plant flowers, but the graves are located in lawned areas.

    READ MORE: Development plans at 'stunning' Edwardian house refused for SIXTH time in THREE years

    In 2018, the council identified that it was necessary to find an additional area for Muslim burials within the Henley Road Cemetery.

    At that time, the only available location was in an area where graves are laid to lawn.

    A meeting was held, and this was agreed by the Imam at the time, but when notice was given of the plans to grass over the graves, families informed the council they were unaware this would happen.

    A RBC spokesman said: When a burial is being arranged, a burial notice must be completed and within this notice, the grave type is specified.

    Unfortunately, as the vast majority of burial notice forms in the Muslim community are completed by either the funeral director or more often by the mosque on behalf of the family, it is possible the families have not explicitly been made aware of the grave type.

    Therefore, when the recent signs were displayed on site giving notice of planned seeding work in the area, this was the first time some families have been made aware of the situation.

    READ MORE: Half of rough sleepers now in longer-term accommodation - Reading update

    Obviously if families have not been informed of this situation prior to the burial, we fully understand why they would be upset on discovering it, particularly where a community has strong beliefs regarding burial sites.

    We will be discussing this further with those who have loved ones buried, as well as representatives of the Muslim community. In the meantime, we have paused the planned work for the time being.

    See the original post here:
    Plans to 'grass over' Muslim graves paused as some families 'unaware and upset' - Reading Chronicle

    Things to do in Sudbury, Oct. 6 to Oct. 9 – The Sudbury Star - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Oct. 6

    Education: Parents/guardians of children in Rainbow Schools are invited to take part in a virtual presentation on Life Interrupted: A Pathway Toward Resilience and Growth. Two online sessions will be available on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 3 p.m., and Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. Hosted by the Rainbow District School Board Mental Health Team, the presentation will support parents/guardians as their children transition back to school, whether learning in class or online. Parents/guardians can register online at bit.ly/rdsblifeinterrupted.

    Photo contest: Just 50 km northeast of Sudbury is the worlds largest known old growth red pine forest. As part of the Chiniguchi waterway, Wolf Lake is treasured for its popular backcountry canoe routes and recreational opportunities. People come from around the world to experience the beauty of the towering red pines, quartzite cliffs, and sparkling blue water in this critically endangered ecosystem. Sudbury Naturalists, Friends of Temagami, and Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury invite you to share your best Wolf Lake photos and prizes will be awarded. Enter at WolfLakePhotoContest.ca. Applicants are also encouraged to share their pictures on social media with the hashtag #WolfLakePhoto. The deadline to submit is Oct. 31. The winners will be announced at the Nov. 10 Sudbury Naturalist meeting. Grand prizes include an Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody, local glass art inspired by Wolf Lake, a hand-made canoe paddle, and Spirit of the Red Pine art book. Smaller weekly prizes will also be awarded during the contest, by random draw.

    Film: Splinters, a Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2018 film, will be opening theatrically at select theatres across Canada, including at the Sudbury Indie Cinema downtown on Oct. 2. A full schedule of showtimes will be available at http://www.sudburyindiecinema.com in the coming weeks.

    Trivia Night: Nickel City Trivia is hosting The Quarantine Quiz every Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Facebook. Go to https://bit.ly/3n3IDy9.

    Oct. 7

    Environment: Vales annual aerial seeding program will take place until Oct. 9 with the use of helicopters. Vales aerial seeding program targets barren land requiring reclamation around the companys operations. This years treatment area will be about 100 hectares (247 acres), north of Wahnapitae. While every effort will be made not to fly over nearby residential areas, local residents may notice low-flying helicopters near Wahnapitae. Residents are advised that this is part of Vales normal land reclamation activities and the low flight paths are necessary for the work to be effective. Weather permitting, planes will depart from a private airstrip in Coniston and deposit loads of agricultural limestone, grass seed and fertilizer on the designated treatment areas.

    Photo contest: Just 50 km northeast of Sudbury is the worlds largest known old growth red pine forest. As part of the Chiniguchi waterway, Wolf Lake is treasured for its popular backcountry canoe routes and recreational opportunities. People come from around the world to experience the beauty of the towering red pines, quartzite cliffs, and sparkling blue water in this critically endangered ecosystem. Sudbury Naturalists, Friends of Temagami, and Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury invite you to share your best Wolf Lake photos and prizes will be awarded. Enter at WolfLakePhotoContest.ca. Applicants are also encouraged to share their pictures on social media with the hashtag #WolfLakePhoto. The deadline to submit is Oct. 31. The winners will be announced at the Nov. 10 Sudbury Naturalist meeting. Grand prizes include an Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody, local glass art inspired by Wolf Lake, a hand-made canoe paddle, and Spirit of the Red Pine art book. Smaller weekly prizes will also be awarded during the contest, by random draw.

    Mining: Gordon Stothart, president and chief executive officer of IAMGOLD, will be the guest speaker at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerces next Presidents Series Luncheon at Brystons-on-the-Park in Copper Cliff. Tickets for the in-person luncheon, which starts at noon, are $50 for members and $80 for non-members, while admission to the virtual luncheon, which starts at 1 p.m., is $25 for members and $40 for non-members. With the in-person luncheon, masks are mandatory and space is limited. For tickets or more information, contact the chamber at 705-673-7133, ext. 224.

    Oct. 8

    Food: St. Marys Ukrainian Catholic Church Thanksgiving luncheon, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The church is only accepting preorders and there will only be curbside pickup. A meal is $12 and includes three pyrohy, two cabbage rolls, sausage, sauerkraut and borscht soup. Sausage on a bun is $5, sausage on a bun with sauerkraut is $7, a dozen pyrohy is $9, a dozen cabbage rolls is $9, while a jar of borscht is also $9. All preorders must be placed by Oct. 6. To order, call 705-675-8244.

    Environment: Vales annual aerial seeding program will take place until Oct. 9 with the use of helicopters. Vales aerial seeding program targets barren land requiring reclamation around the companys operations. This years treatment area will be about 100 hectares (247 acres), north of Wahnapitae. While every effort will be made not to fly over nearby residential areas, local residents may notice low-flying helicopters near Wahnapitae. Residents are advised that this is part of Vales normal land reclamation activities and the low flight paths are necessary for the work to be effective. Weather permitting, planes will depart from a private airstrip in Coniston and deposit loads of agricultural limestone, grass seed and fertilizer on the designated treatment areas.

    Photo contest: Just 50 km northeast of Sudbury is the worlds largest known old growth red pine forest. As part of the Chiniguchi waterway, Wolf Lake is treasured for its popular backcountry canoe routes and recreational opportunities. People come from around the world to experience the beauty of the towering red pines, quartzite cliffs, and sparkling blue water in this critically endangered ecosystem. Sudbury Naturalists, Friends of Temagami, and Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury invite you to share your best Wolf Lake photos and prizes will be awarded. Enter at WolfLakePhotoContest.ca. Applicants are also encouraged to share their pictures on social media with the hashtag #WolfLakePhoto. The deadline to submit is Oct. 31. The winners will be announced at the Nov. 10 Sudbury Naturalist meeting. Grand prizes include an Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody, local glass art inspired by Wolf Lake, a hand-made canoe paddle, and Spirit of the Red Pine art book. Smaller weekly prizes will also be awarded during the contest, by random draw.

    Virtual Knit Nights: Sweet Yarns, located at 1465 Bancroft Dr., is livestreaming knitting circles on its Facebook page every Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Join here: https://bit.ly/33lpT5u.

    Oct. 9

    Haunted Heights Trail: Take a haunted walk through the woods every Friday and Saturday, 8-11 p.m., until Halloween. Social distancing rules in effect. Admission is $7 per person or $5 with a non-perishable food item (human or pet) to be donated to a local food bank and animal shelter. The haunted trail is located at 1764 Kathleen St. in Val Caron. For more, go to https://bit.ly/34f6thQ.

    Photo contest: Just 50 km northeast of Sudbury is the worlds largest known old growth red pine forest. As part of the Chiniguchi waterway, Wolf Lake is treasured for its popular backcountry canoe routes and recreational opportunities. People come from around the world to experience the beauty of the towering red pines, quartzite cliffs, and sparkling blue water in this critically endangered ecosystem. Sudbury Naturalists, Friends of Temagami, and Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury invite you to share your best Wolf Lake photos and prizes will be awarded. Enter at WolfLakePhotoContest.ca. Applicants are also encouraged to share their pictures on social media with the hashtag #WolfLakePhoto. The deadline to submit is Oct. 31. The winners will be announced at the Nov. 10 Sudbury Naturalist meeting. Grand prizes include an Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody, local glass art inspired by Wolf Lake, a hand-made canoe paddle, and Spirit of the Red Pine art book. Smaller weekly prizes will also be awarded during the contest, by random draw.

    Halloween: The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre, along with Northern Screams, has created a new interactive and immersive Halloween attraction that will be open to the public starting Friday, Oct. 2, until Oct. 31. Inferno 6077: Born Out of Fire, is a fully produced theatrical drive-in style haunt that promises to deliver the same intense scares as the Terror Train 6077, which has been derailed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The event will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, as well as Saturday matinees from 2 to 6 p.m. All events will take place at the museums Heritage Centre, 59 Young St. in Capreol. Tickets are $65 per vehicle ($13 per person based on five seats), plus box office fees, and are available online at normhc.ca or by using the Haunt Pay App. Guests must remain in their vehicles throughout the entirety of the experience. Guests in each vehicle must be from the same social bubble. COVID-19 procedures and protocols will be posted and followed.

    Halloween: Halloween at Dynamic Earth, 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Oct. 30. For a full list of events and experiences, visit https://www.sciencenorth.ca/halloween.

    Environment: Vales annual aerial seeding program will take place until Oct. 9 with the use of helicopters. Vales aerial seeding program targets barren land requiring reclamation around the companys operations. This years treatment area will be about 100 hectares (247 acres), north of Wahnapitae. While every effort will be made not to fly over nearby residential areas, local residents may notice low-flying helicopters near Wahnapitae. Residents are advised that this is part of Vales normal land reclamation activities and the low flight paths are necessary for the work to be effective. Weather permitting, planes will depart from a private airstrip in Coniston and deposit loads of agricultural limestone, grass seed and fertilizer on the designated treatment areas.

    Read the original here:
    Things to do in Sudbury, Oct. 6 to Oct. 9 - The Sudbury Star

    You wont believe the transformation Augusta National has made in a week – Golf Digest - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Breathe easy, Masters zealots.

    Last week photos circulated online from Eureka Earth showing most of the Augusta National grounds painted in brown.

    Theoretically the images shouldnt have been surprising; the grass at the hallowed property is famously scalped in the summer months. But with this years Masters Tournament moved to November, the photos of a cocoa-colored Amen Corner had fans fearing the worst. (In their defense, its been that type of year.)

    However, with the Masters five weeks out, Eureka Earth posted another round of Augusta National aerials Saturday morning, and the burnt sienna surroundings are no more:

    That is the byproduct of ryegrass seeding, and you dont have to squint too hard to see the sprinklers hard at work. In short, Augusta National is back to looking like Augusta National.

    Now, if those trees can just start turning orange

    The 2020 Masters begins Nov. 12. Tiger Woods is the defending champ.

    Original post:
    You wont believe the transformation Augusta National has made in a week - Golf Digest

    Transformation and opportunity | News, Sports, Jobs – Fort Dodge Messenger - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    -Messenger photo by Kriss NelsonCory Krug, Webster County Fairgrounds president, stands at the new Figure 8 racetrack and pulling track and the grandstand area at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

    There has been a lot of action the past few weeks at the grandstand area of the Webster County Fairgrounds. Its not the typical Figure 8 races or truck pulls, however.

    A transformation began just a few weeks ago at the fairgrounds when the Webster County Fair Board broke ground on their new grandstand area.

    Cory Krug, Webster County Fair Board president said they have made great progress on the project, but there is still plenty to do.

    By moving the grandstands and racetrack further east, closer to U.S. Highway 169, the Webster County Fair Board is anticipating the updates to bring more opportunities, comfort and attention to the grandstand events.

    We have been running into problems with parking during the fair especially when our grandstand events come in, we have a carnival that takes up space, said Krug. We had a need to move the track and grandstands for several other reasons. The crowd will no longer have to face the sun and it will get better attention being closer to the highway.

    -Messenger photo by Kriss NelsonCory Krug, Webster County Fairgrounds president, and Heather Stewart, Webster County Fair board member, discuss the progress that has been made at the new Figure 8 racetrack and pulling track and the grandstand area at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

    Heather Stewart, a Webster County Fair Board member, agrees.

    Hopefully people on the highway can see us know that we are here, she said. I think people have forgotten about us. We are hoping we will attract more people. We are set up to do so many great things here. Even if its not a grandstand event, we have a great auditorium, indoor and outdoor arenas too.

    After the teardown of the old track area, which including pulling fences, barricades, moving the bleachers and more, dirt work began on not only tearing up the old track, but building a new one.

    Krug said the new Figure 8 track is approximately 25-feet wider than the previous track, making it now 500 feet long and 210 feet wide with a 55-foot width around the track.

    We did all of that based on the feedback from drivers, he said, adding that by moving the grandstand, they have managed to free up an additional five acres that will be used for parking and more.

    -Submitted photoDirt work progresses on the new track and grandstand area at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

    Krug said they have also improved their pulling track.

    We brought in more clay. Packed it a lot better so that those events can go on seamlessly there wont have to be a lot of prep work like there was before, he said.

    They have also moved the pit area down to the end of track.

    This will allow better access to our facilities for all of the drivers and the people in the pit, so they dont have to cross the track, said Krug. It will be a lot safer that way.

    The added space and new design will also allow for events that arent on the regular schedule to happen without tearing up the regular track areas as they have had to do in the past.

    -Submitted photoThis photo shows how the grandstand area and racetrack was laid out prior to it being moved further to the east.

    This will allow the grandstand area to be more versatile, said Krug. We also have UTV races, tough truck races and weve been getting some interest to bring back moto-cross races. We now have the space for those types of events to occur so we dont have to tear up our regular tracks like we have had to in the past.

    Krug said there is still a lot of work left to be done.

    Phase one is nearly complete, but will also include moving all of the electrical components, a new fence and also hopefully new lighting.

    Phase two, according to Krug includes new bleachers with a shade roof. The cost for that starts in the $300,000 range, so there is a definite need for fundraising to achieve those plans.

    In terms of enhancements, we would like better fencing instead of having to repurpose what we have, that is something we are looking at doing, he said.

    Stewart said they are also looking into building a permanent beer garden with restroom facilities as well as a new facility for checking in and checking out on race day.

    Fundraising

    Krug said they were able to raise the funds to begin the transition with a Grandstand Fundraising Festival last summer, which replaced money that would have been raised during the 2020 Webster County Fair.

    Local businesses and supporters came in and helped put on some of the events. Those large crowds that attended, allowed us to get the dirt work done and hopefully everything we need to do from an electrical standpoint, said Krug.

    But more donations are needed in order to complete the work.

    Both Stewart and Krug emphasized donations dont always have to be in the monetary form.

    The seeding has been donated we have about 11 acres that needs seeded to have grass ready to go next year, said Krug. Same with the electrical we are hoping to get assistance with funding or for equipment and the labor. That is how most things happen out here. If the money is not there, then we hopefully get businesses to step up and help us out.

    Some items that top their priority list include:

    Water/sewer work

    Highway barriers

    6-by6-foot beams (4 feet to 16 feet)

    2-by-10-by-18-foot treated boards

    New light poles

    LED stadium lights

    Electric work

    Crows nest build

    Flag stand build

    Beer garden/bathroom build

    A list of needs will be updated on the Webster County Fair Boards website.

    Stewart said if anyone or a business is willing to donate money, equipment or labor, they can contact the Webster County Fair Board. They will be a part of the sponsorship list that is listed on the fence that surrounds the grandstand area.

    Krug said the Webster County Fairgrounds is a non-profit volunteer run organization.

    We are always looking for more volunteers or members that are interested in helping to improve the fairgrounds for our local youth and the benefit of the community, he said.

    Having a venue brings people to our area, said Stewart.

    Krug said he would like to see the new grandstand area and the Webster County Fairgrounds eventually become a premier venue for Fort Dodge and Webster County.

    Our main thing we do here is Figure 8s, but, we are going to expand on that. We are going to have more races next year. We bring in a lot of cars from different counties and places in Iowa. We want to expand that even further. Have more truck pulls to put on and just more stuff for people to get out and do, he said. We would love to have bigger concerts and also use it for venues like that.

    Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

    The 15th annual Pumpkins and Ponies is today and tomorrow at SpringVale Farm, 2603 Lone Tree Road outside Humboldt. ...

    Around the areaHUMBOLDT Pumpkins & Ponies is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. TODAY and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. SUNDAY at ...

    Editors note: With the election for Webster County sheriff less than a month away, The Messenger asked the ...

    Read more from the original source:
    Transformation and opportunity | News, Sports, Jobs - Fort Dodge Messenger

    WESTCO Zephyrs excited to be back on the diamond – Scottsbluff Star Herald - June 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The WESTCO Zephyr players were happy to be on the field practicing as a unit for the first time in three months.

    While the players were excited to be on the green grass of Cleveland Field in 90-plus temperatures, WESTCO Zephyr head coach Jeremiah Luber was equally excited to be back on the field after an unusual coronavirus-inflicted break.

    I am excited. It is 95 degrees out here and it is baseball weather, Luber said. All the guys have an extra pep in their step and excited to be here. It is a little different because normally when we are out here for the first practice, you have a couple layers on and it is chilly, and today we have some good baseball weather.

    The make-up of the WESTCO teams are unknown for now, but one thing that Luber is pleased with is the numbers that are trying out for a spot on one of the three teams WESTCO will field this year.

    We had a spike in numbers and excited about that, he said. We are planning on 35 to as many as 38 guys trying out. We are planning on having three teams and we are really excited about that. We have a big group of eighth graders coming up that will be able to field their own team.

    Last year, WESTCO started a third team of eight graders. The same will hold true this year.

    We have five or six guys back from last years team that had unbelievable experience, Luber said. They were the first team in six years to make the state tournament in Kearney and played some high competition. We have a good mix of young guys coming up and I am excited to come out and see these guys that I havent seen in a while. Some of these guys will be juniors and pushing for a spot with the Zephyrs.

    WESTCO will have 17 days to practice before their first games. High school teams can have their first games on June 18 and the Zephyrs will open up on that date with a trip to Wheatland, Wyoming. The Zephyrs first home game is slated for June 19 against Torrington followed by a trip to face Cheyenne Post 6 on June 23.

    The Zephyrs lose three key players from last years 31-21 team in Harold Baez, Paul Panduro, and Jack Jones.

    Key returners include Creighton Dike, Hunter McCollum, Jace Heineman, Porter Robbins, Dario Rodriguez, Tate Carson, Izaiah Torrez, Keegan Nation, and KJ Hartline.

    I can tell you just being out here that these guys are just excited to be out here after being quarantined for a little bit, Luber said. We are all just so thankful for the opportunity we get that half the states in the country dont get. We are going to come out and do the best that it works and follow the protocols and just help the guys improve and have fun playing.

    Luber said that this season will be challenging with all the rules they have to follow, but the WESTCO organization will be following the new rules to set an example with the possibility of opening up other things.

    What will be different for now is only household members can come to the game, he said. I cant look down the road to see if the guidelines might change a little bit on July 1, but where the fan seeding will be, no one will be allowed to be up in the stands so we will have fans down the rightfield line and fans down the leftfield line sectioned off where household members can come and watch. Obviously that that is disappointing, but by the end of the day, going through all these hardships, we are just trying to get out there so the kids can play baseball.

    Our parents are really supportive. I was really concerned when I saw the guidelines and how much more it would take on each household to make sure the kids can get to the game. Everyone is supportive in our program.

    Luber said the two weeks of practice will be beneficial for this team to get everyone on the right page. Come June 18, there will be a lot of baseball played in the next month and a half.

    We will be looking forward to be playing, he said. With us not being able to have contact with the guys [during the pandemic], the guys have been doing workouts at home, but I dont know how much guys have been doing, so we need that practice time to make sure we are ready to go. I was gun-ho to play as soon as possible before the guidelines but then I thought about it that these two weeks will be really good to evaluate, get the guys arms built up, and get guys back in shape.

    More here:
    WESTCO Zephyrs excited to be back on the diamond - Scottsbluff Star Herald

    Go Figure, But a ‘Convert Your Lawn to Prairie’ Webinar is the Hottest Ticket in Town – WTTW News - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Do these look like weeds? Native plants can create a beautiful landscape that's more eco-friendly than grass. (Ron Frazier / Flickr)

    You know how when Taylor Swift or the Grateful Dead, U2 or K-Pop sensations BTS sell out Soldier Field, they always seem to add another date? And then that show sells out too, so maybe they add a third? And thats not even enough to meet demand?

    Thats what it feels like to be Sarah Michehl.

    If the name doesnt ring a bell, thats because Michehl isnt a rock star. Shes a community engagement specialist with theLand Conservancy of McHenry County, a nonprofit land trust organization. Its a business-card mouthful that essentially means Michehl teaches people about nature.

    In April, with in-person instruction on hold during Illinois stay-at-home order, Michehl came up with an idea for a free onlinehow-to webinar for people interested in converting their lawn to prairie plantings. She had to cap registration at 100, because of her Zoom license, but didnt think that would be a problem.

    Well, that first session quickly reached capacity, with people signing up from as far away as Kansas and Ohio, so she scheduled a second, which promptly filled up, then a third, and a fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

    I just kept adding, said Michehl, who now has webinars booked into July. This is the busiest Ive ever been in my job.

    Michehl said she suspects the unexpected flood of interest has something to do with the coronavirus and people being stuck at home.

    People are getting intimately acquainted with their property, she said. Maybe something good can come out of this pandemic.

    Prairie smoke, a lower-growing native plant. (Krista Lundgren, USFWS / Flickr)

    The lawn-to-prairie movement has been steadily growing in recent years as people have become more knowledgeable about the way local ecosystems work.

    EntomologistDoug Tallamy, one of the leading proponents of native plants, explained the interconnectedness of plants and pollinators in a recentinterview withSmithsonianmagazine: Ninety percent of the insects that eat plants can develop and reproduce only on the plants with which they share an evolutionary history.

    The plight of the monarch butterfly, the caterpillars of which are totally dependent on milkweed for food, brought global attention to the decimation of native habitats and really opened the door for natives resurgence, Michehl said.

    People are ready to hear this message, she said.

    Swapping out turf for natives turns whats essentially a food desert for insects into a buffet that can support a diverse array of bees, butterflies and other tiny but vital creatures. Native plants also have far deeper roots than grass, meaning they absorb more stormwater and are more resistant to drought.

    Because 85% of land east of the Mississippi River is privately owned be it utility rights of way, school properties, farms or residential areas Michehl said educating the public about steps that individuals and private entities can take is crucial to creating eco-friendly habitat.

    We cant leave it up to state DNRs (Departments of Natural Resources) or forest preserves to make the difference, she said, because their footprint is comparatively small.

    Lawns, on the other hand, cover 40 million acres in the U.S., according to anoft-cited research articlepublished inEnvironmental Management.

    Thats where the impact is going to be made, said Michehl.

    Referencing Tallamys latest work, Natures Best Hope, Michehl said, If everybody could cut down their amount of lawn by half and turn it into native plants, we could have a homegrown national park of eco-beneficial land.

    Blazing star, a native plant. (USFWS Midwest Region / Flickr)

    Whats good for the planet isnt necessarily great for relationships between neighbors, though. Prairie lovers often find themselves at odds with adjacent property owners, the most common complaint being that the native plants look like weeds.

    Thats where Michehl and her webinar come in.

    Natives do not have to equal messy, untidy and uncared for, she said, nor should prairies low-maintenance reputation be misconstrued as no maintenance.

    The key, Michehl said, is for prairie fans to be good ambassadors of natives by choosing the appropriate plants and managing them.

    Youve got to be smart, she said. Show how beautiful sustainability can be.

    One option is to choose a quality seed mix of lower-growing plants none of that meadow in a can stuff, she said such as columbine, wild geranium and Jacobs ladder (to name a shade-loving trio). Another is to consider judicious use of sedges and grasses (grasses not grass its a key distinction), which are important to landscape design from both an ecological and aesthetic perspective, Michehl said.

    They shoot up right away, are great for weed suppression, hold soil in place and provide winter interest when all the flowers are gone, she said.

    And dont skimp on research, Michehl added.

    Natives arent interchangeable, and each plants characteristics should be taken into account before purchasing seeds or seedlings, she said. Some plants are extremely aggressive, for example, and should only be considered by people who have acres and acres of land.

    Theres an amazing book, Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest. Thats my bible, said Michehl. Its an amazing resource for when youre wondering, Why is this thing even here? and how to control it.

    Thats just a hint of the content Michehl has incorporated into her webinar, including lessons learned from mistakes shes made at her own Crystal Lake home.

    Her first attempt at smothering the grass in her back yard a non-herbicidal way of killing grass to prep an area for prairie seeding was a hot mess, Michehl said.

    But even with mistakes, I have a thing of beauty, she said.

    Notably, Michehl has received zero pushback from neighbors.

    In fact, the one time she got tagged in one of those nosy neighborhood Facebook groups, it was by someone who wanted to copy her prairie conversion.

    On second thought, maybe she is a rock star.

    Contact Patty Wetli:@pattywetli| (773) 509-5623 |[emailprotected]

    See the article here:
    Go Figure, But a 'Convert Your Lawn to Prairie' Webinar is the Hottest Ticket in Town - WTTW News

    Sharing thoughts on shopping, clover and chaotic seeding – Miami County Republic - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    I am not certain about you and your family, but the nine weeks of quarantine has commenced a hankering within me to go shopping.

    Not to a mall. Not to Walmart. (Price Chopper is my favorite local place to shop because I always seem to find someone I know with whom I may chat in the social distancing style.)

    But what I REALLY crave is a trip to a flower nursery where I can meander amongst a vast array of kaleidoscopic flowers and bushes and trees. I would spend a Stimulus Checks worth of money to plant plants throughout our yard.

    Unfortunately, our check has still not arrived, so my trip to a nursery will be placed on the back burner, and new plants are not on the list of essentials right now.

    ~~~

    I have planted seeds in all my gardens zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers. Some I have labeled with seed packet markers and others with little sticks poked in the ground.

    Well, some of the papers have blown away. My noble garden creatures, two cats and three dogs who wander the gardens with me as I plant, have rubbed onto or walked over or have laid upon my little stick markers.

    Now I am unsure what is planted where, and what in the world did I actually plant.

    I started with great intentions. I told myself to create a pictorial guide at the beginning of my garden adventures this spring. It was short lived. That is when chaotic seeding began.

    Last night, as I carried around half full packages of seeds, sprinkling here, sprinkling there, my husband said, You are planting things all over the place and you wont remember where anything is.

    Probably and for sure. Chaotic seeding may be the new look of the future.

    I can think of myself like the female version of Johnny Appleseed, only not with apples but with flower seeds. My name could be ummmmm Bethy Flick-a-seed. It has a nice ring to it.

    ~~~

    My yard is acquiring many areas of little white clovers. I love them like I admire their predecessor, the dandelions. Both plants are living havens of hope for honey bees.

    Having clover in your yard is a wonder with reverence. Really!!! It is! I promise you!!!

    Clover is a member of the pea family like alfalfa, green beans, soybeans, honey locust trees, mimosa trees and over 20,000 other species of plants. All are good for adding nutrients to the soil.

    I had no intention to write about clovers necessity. I accidentally fell into it last night while my husband and I sat on our yard swing gazing out at our imperfect lawnery (a Beth Conner made-up word meaning the yard or lawn area around a home).

    We were looking at our thickets of clover in front of us. I mentioned how the bees would be happy and how my big tortoise would have loved eating them.

    I read an article today by Melissa Sharpova, a landscape and design expert as well as a botanist.

    She says, Clover in your yard will fix the atmospheric nitrogen into a soil fertilizer, with the root nodules and colonies of symbiotic bacteria. Rather fancy terms meaning that clover has the ability to bring up and pull together trace minerals to make your lawn better.

    This sounds good to me. When the clover decomposes, the minerals it creates will provide the lawn and soil with a more disease-free area requiring less fertilizer and weed-killer.

    This is not only great for the grass but also the streams and lakes. With less nutrient soil run-off, the waterways will be much better.

    Have you ever noticed the lakes around golf courses and heavily fertilized fields having the pond scum, or in real terms, filamentous algae? It normally means the pond is out of balance from too many synthetic nutrients placed on the surrounding field or grass.

    About 60 years ago, it became the perspective of the Lawn Masters to declare war and annihilate all broadleaf plants in a yard...good or bad. People were told, and believed, a perfect lawn was of necessity. AH, this is where the integrity of clover comes in.

    Clover is GOOD! It is not the enemy!

    If you have a clover-filled lawn, it will crowd out the broadleaf weeds you dont want. The bees will adore you and produce clover honey a much wanted variety of honey lovers.

    Also remember that clover stays green all summer long.

    Clover also allows for hours of fun searching for a four-leafed one that I am sure your children will delight in finding. It means faith, hope, love and luck.

    Dont tell them, but the chances of finding a four-leafer is 10,000 to 1.

    Five-leafed clovers are out there too, but the chances of discovering it is one million to one.

    Hey give clover a chipper chance.

    Beth Conner is a Miami County resident, teacher and outdoor enthusiast.

    Link:
    Sharing thoughts on shopping, clover and chaotic seeding - Miami County Republic

    Mount Prospect’s Burning Bush detention area put to the test early – Chicago Daily Herald - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Mount Prospect has yet to see the completion of the flood relief project at Burning Bush Trails Park. But Public Works Director Sean Dorsey told the village board this week that the detention facility was pressed into premature service during Sunday's heavy rain.

    As a result, many homes in the neighborhood were spared from flooding.

    Dorsey said public works officials initially didn't want to disturb the site, which is mostly complete and is at the proper grade.

    But seeing that the manhole near Park Drive and Tano Lane had reached maximum level readings at about 6:45 p.m., public works decided to open a bulkhead, an inflatable bladder that blocks a pipe. This provided an avenue for the stormwater into the detention pond.

    "None of the grass seeding is in, so we didn't want to fill it with water and have all the dirt wash off. But given the intensity of the storm and the potential for damage, we elected to pull the bulkhead and have the detention pond take on water," Dorsey said.

    By 7:20 p.m., the water level in the manhole dropped, and extensive street flooding was avoided.

    A grateful Trustee William Grossi, who lives near Burning Bush Trails Park, thanked Dorsey, telling him, "I think you saved quite a few homes," particular on the lower section of Park Drive.

    Dorsey said the Des Plaines River at the gauge just north of Euclid Avenue crested at 19.77 feet, short of the record of 20.9 feet at that location in 2013.

    The amount of rainfall for the month was 8.25 inches, a new record for May, set last year at 8.24 inches.

    Dorsey said the village received 220 requests for service between 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday night. Some were related to storm sewers, and others for private property drainage issues and sanitary sewer backups.

    Most of the complaints, 155 total, were about street flooding.

    Almost all the issues, he said, were resolved that night.

    Read more:
    Mount Prospect's Burning Bush detention area put to the test early - Chicago Daily Herald

    Pensioner volunteers to tidy overgrown Richmond embankment – Richmondshire Today - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Ernest Brayshaw.

    A Richmond pensioner has been praised for clearly an overgrown embankment in his spare time.

    Ernest Brayshaw, 71, has been spending three hours a day clearing weeds and tidying up the bank in the towns Gallowgate, near the police, fire and ambulance stations.

    He said: I have a part-time job so have a lot of spare time on my hands.

    One day when I was fed up so I decided to do some voluntary work on Barrack Hill.

    I go there for three hours a day cutting all the brambles out and grass seeding, and putting plastic steps into work from because its so steep.

    The public have stopped and talked to me and praised my efforts. The police have said the same and given me chocolates and said how much they appreciate my efforts.

    Mr Brayshaw has so far planted wildflowers and montbretia.

    He added: I have other ideas of plants to add a bit of colour to the embankment.

    Richmond district and county councillor Stuart Parsons praised the efforts of Mr Brayshaw.

    He said: Hes done a brilliant job as it was a very untidy area.

    Yet again theres another example of during these difficult times people still finding a way to contribute to the environment and the town without endangering themselves.

    Cllr Parsons added: The excuse we always got for why it was so untidy was that they wanted it to go back to nature which is often a local authority way of saying we cant be bothered.

    Read the original:
    Pensioner volunteers to tidy overgrown Richmond embankment - Richmondshire Today

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